Over the Top Stick Drill

Are you tired of yelling “Fore!” when you hit big, nasty slices off the tee? If so, here's a drill that will prevent you from slicing the ball...I guarantee it! You’ll hit more fairways, and less “who knows where it will land” shots. This drill will teach you: 1) How to hit from the inside so you can watch your shots draw, and 2) How to roll over your release and square up your club face.

  • Place Stick on Target Line
  • Swing to Right of Stick in Follow Through
  • Focus on Shoulders Closed
  • Swing to Right Field in Baseball

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Joseph
In a "correct" swing would be that stick when his toes are in line with it? Trying to get a sense for how far left the club should swing in a model swing. I get the club stuck and too shallow on the downside and then try to save it by swinging hard left with body and arms and holding off the release. It's okay on short clubs but my fairway woods are a disaster.
July 10, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Joseph, the stick would actually be located between the ball and the target. However, the hands and the club will work slightly left post impact. Sounds like you are creating too much secondary axis tilt in transition which can make the fairway woods difficult to hit. Submit some swings for review and let us take a close look at it.
July 18, 2017
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Konstantin
Hi, I actually hit over the top with right hand dominated swing but in my he meantime hook the ball. What should I do?
December 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Konstantin. You are closing the face down too much into creating the hook. Try focusing more on the shallow aspect, but a more gradual rotation of the face into and through impact.
December 21, 2016
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Michael
The Stop Going Over the Top Drill talks a lot about moving left will cause the club to shallow out, but this drill seems to say consciously manipulate the path to go right. Should I still shift left first, and then try and swing left?
November 14, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Yes, you should still shift to the lead side. But, the goal is to use the shift and keep the trail shoulder back to allow the club to shallow out. This drill above is an exaggerated way to start feeling a more inside path. It will zero out the closer you start aligning to the stick.
November 15, 2016
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JONATHAN
this video was recommended to me to stop coming over the top and has helped me come more from the inside. the better i get at this move, the more i tend to stand up out of my stance as i get near impact. are there any drills to help maintain posture? Or is it just something that you have to correct by watching videos?
June 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jonathan. Take a look at the Chair Drill to help supplement with your new shallower plane.
June 21, 2016
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Rod
Craig.... I only come over the top with the driver/3 wood/5 wood. Should I be doing this drill with a wood? My irons are dead straight.
June 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rod. It would be tough with a wood. But, you can practice the small in to out with a wood. Not the sharp degree of right when you first start firing up the drill.
June 2, 2016
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bryan
For someone that doesn't come over the top but still pulls the club in left could it simply be that I need to exit higher post impact? Take a look at the 4:02 minute mark where Clay is "says I'm going to hit some shots from here". Then he exits higher in his next practice swing. I think I just always do the lower version and that causes my swing left. Thoughts?
April 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bryan. A higher exit position may help in your case if not over the top, but still tugging it left a bit.
April 7, 2016
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Dustin
Wow, I'm struggling with this one Craig. I hate the feel of taking it so far to the inside in order to miss the stick coming back through. I'm going to really have to pound this drill in order to rid myself of this horrible over the top I have currently ingrained - will this have an effect on my regular takeaway? When I submit vid of this drill, at which point would you like to see the ball placed.. in like with the vertical stick as Clay does to start the drill? Thanks Craig
April 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dustin. I'm not too worried about the effect on the takeaway. Curing Over the Top has much more effect on the impact positioning. You can place the ball a little in front of you. Doesn't have to be perfectly in line with the stick. I would say about the placement at 3:50 in the video.
April 3, 2016
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Stephen
Hi Craig. In this drill he never refers to the weight shift to the left, it seems to be just swinging the arms out on a path 45 degrees. In my real swing, I shift to the left and this pulls the shoulders from 90 degrees to 45 degrees, then I pulls with oblique or drive heel in the ground and this brings the shoulders perpendicular to the ball. For me to get the feeling of having the shoulders shut I would have to exclude the pull of the oblique. I can't understand where the pulls are coming from as I don't feel I am pushing at all. I'm concentrating on shifting letting club fall and pulling my oblique. Hope u can help me. Stephen
February 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. I didn't see anything jumping out in the swing for your pulls in the last review. Check to make sure you aren't flipping the lead elbow. I didn't notice it, but the "push" looked much less in the latest batch of videos. Curing Elbow Pain Video.
February 29, 2016
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Michael
My movement causing OTT swing stems from the hips, I can't seem to shift left and drop the arms into the correct position. I can see the club cutting across the ball with the longer clubs particularly. I have tried squat to square video and the 9 to 3 shift left but nothing works. I seem to have the club open at Impact pushing drives right or big fade. Please help. Mike
February 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Really work hard on the proper shifting in the Impact Series Part 2, 3 and Bonus Video. What about the How to Swing from the Ground Up Video? Have you tried to really slow the trail shoulder when shifting to help with the drop? Take a look a the Sledgehammer Video.
February 3, 2016
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Ed
I tried this as a result of a swing review. I'm an 8 hcp. When I try to do this, I almost always hit it fat and can't make solid contact. I'm not coming over the top very much, but I do start down steep and then somehow shallow out the club at the bottom before impact. I also have a tendency to stand up on the way down and lose lag. Please help! I really want to hit the ball better. Thanks.
January 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ed. Take a look at the Impact Series. Start with Part 1. Work your way up the chain. Start by making small releases with a better strike and then stack components. This series should help with the vast majority of the list you described.
January 23, 2016
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Steffen
Hi, I tend to push with the trail shoulder. When starting transition I try to feel as my trail shoulder stays back which almost feels like it moves away from the ball. Haven't seen it on camera yet so its just a feeling I have. However is that a correct feeling to have to prevent the trail shoulder from pushing? cheers Steffen
January 21, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steffen. Yes, if you tend to push the trail shoulder the correct feeling will be the trail shoulder staying back or the shoulders feeling shut to the target.
January 21, 2016
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ira
It seems that the shorter the club the more I come over the top, my driver looks fine, but my wedges are terrible. This must be a useful diagnostic. Any ideas? thanks Ira
September 6, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ira. You might be trying to over power the wedges and using more of a body release. Add the Sledgehammer Drill and Fix Your Release Video to your drill work. Less trail shoulder involvement and better lead wrist release.
September 7, 2015
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Mark
I was instructed to do the stick drill as part of a swing review. I could get the path alright when swinging left hand only but I had problems as soon as I added the right hand. I just could not make any kind if decent contact with both hands on the club. I slowed it down and analyzed why I couldn't get there. As it turned out, I was too upright. There just wasn't room for the right elbow to pass close to the body so the fix that my body came up with was to spin over the top. I have not played yet or had the opportunity to resume the drill yet. I am hooping this will help. Ever hear of this?
April 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. That could be a possible culprit. Not unheard of. Also, check your tush line. If you are experiencing early extension. You wont have room to shallow out.
April 16, 2015
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David
Thank you for this drill. It is very good indeed. If I keep 'closed shoulders' as my swing key, the worst I now get is a benign push. The best a soft draw. It has made the game of golf a great deal more enjoyable for me, on the course and on the range.
March 30, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey David. Great! Yes, getting on plane or even missing under is way more fun than over-the-top.
March 30, 2015
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Anthony
Craig, I don't slice but I pull the ball left and low. I was pratice today and notice if I keep my head and shoulders behind the swing (the ball) and swing my left hand and arm down the target line ,out towards the ball , and my right shoulder back and down and feeling closed , I hit the ball higher and it stops the pull low swing. Is this swing thought correct and in line with this video.
March 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anthony. Yes, it will feel as though the shoulders are closed and the trail shoulder isn't pushing through. This helps shallow out the plane a come from the inside. Giving you the ability to release for a little higher ball flight and less pulls.
March 22, 2015
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william
From your Video Summary: This drill will teach you: 1) How to hit from the inside so you can watch your shots draw, and 2) How to roll over your release and square up your club face. Immediate reaction: No it didn't do those specific things.
July 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. Are you sure your are shallowing out the path enough and getting enough rotation in the lead hand? Use the Stop Coming Over the Top Video in the Downswing Section to make sure your sequence is started by the lead side to shallow out. Also, take a look at Day: 2 Hitting a Draw in the 9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking Section (Bonus Series) to exaggerate the rotation for the draw.
July 25, 2014
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william
Love this site; this is Day Two. Puzzled by one aspect of this lesson. You start out swinging at about 45 degrees to the TL. But then, when you progress to your toes being in line with the stick, you APPEAR to swing straight away. No more in-to-out swing path. Correct? (Hmm, I see "video summary" and "video practice points". Maybe the answer is in one of those? Here I go.
July 25, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey William. Glad you are enjoying the site. You want to retain the feeling of keeping the shoulders shut and releasing the club. If you continue to exaggerate the 45 degree shot. You will end up blocking every shot to the right when you go back to normal.
July 25, 2014

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